Beaner Jumping? WTF?!?!

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. Principessa

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    Admired by Many, but to Police a Killer
    By ANNE BARNARD
    MEDFORD, N.Y. — Jeffrey Conroy, friends of his family say, is warm and patient with younger boys, admired by peers and adults as a promising athlete, and friendly with people of many ethnicities, including a half sister whose mother’s background is part Puerto Rican.

    That portrait deepens the mystery of how Mr. Conroy, 17, ended up in court on Monday facing murder charges.

    Prosecutors say he admitted to the police that he fatally stabbed Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant, on Nov. 8, after Mr. Conroy and six friends roamed the streets in search of Mexicans to beat up — a regular pastime that the group called “beaner jumping.”

    Now at the center of a case that has exposed ethnic tensions in the Long Island communities of Patchogue and Medford, Mr. Conroy pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges including second-degree murder. He is being held without bail and faces 20 years to life in prison. His lawyer, William Keahon, told a Suffolk County judge that he would prove Mr. Conroy innocent, and he pointed to several dozen supporters in the courtroom who he said included young people of Latino, Asian and Turkish descent.

    A drive around the Patchogue-Medford School District, where an influx of immigrant workers in recent years has increased the Latino population to 24 percent, does not immediately suggest a divided community.

    Yet Latino community advocates say that immigrants have often been harassed by young men and are afraid to contact the police; on Dec. 3, the Congregational Church of Patchogue, where many immigrants attend services, will hold a forum with the F.B.I. to enable people to report past incidents of abuse.

    Mr. Conroy and his five fellow defendants, each held on $500,000 bail after being arraigned last week on charges including gang assault, seem to be part of that complex picture.

    Two defendants, Jose Pacheco and Anthony Hartford, are part Latino; their lawyers have argued that they would never single out another Latino.

    Cynthia Zator, who was divorced from Robert J. Conroy, Jeffrey’s father, 20 years ago, said by telephone from her home in Delaware that she considered the Conroys — Robert; his wife, Lori; and their five children, including Jeffrey — family.

    Ms. Zator, who has a Puerto Rican father and a German mother, said, “There is no prejudice in my family.”

    In April, Jeffrey Conroy posted a friendly message on MySpace to one of Ms. Zator’s younger sons, calling him “my brotha from anotha motha.”

    Fernando Mateo, a spokesman for the Lucero family, said that Mr. Conroy’s choice of friends “doesn’t mean anything at all.”

    “What it shows is that he’s like a Jekyll and Hyde kind of guy,” Mr. Mateo said. “When he’s around a group of people, I guess, he shows sympathy and care, and when he’s alone with his real friends, he’s out on a mission, and his mission is making sure that he beats up on anyone who looks Hispanic.”

    Friends of the Conroys paint an opposite picture.
    “He had friends of every race, creed and color, and they’ve all been in his house when I was there, so I’ve seen it,” said Marc Negrin, a health care administrator who says he has been friends with Robert and Lori Conroy for 10 years. It makes absolutely no sense to me — all these things we’re hearing and we’re reading is not the young man that I know.”

    Mr. Negrin is vice president of the Patchogue-Medford Youth Football and Cheerleading Club, which Robert Conroy founded to establish Pee Wee football and cheerleading for younger children and, according to its mission statement, to “promote, foster and increase camaraderie and socializing among youth.”

    A former deli owner and K-Mart operations manager who is now on disability, Robert Conroy also founded the Pat-Med Booster Club, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to enable sports to continue during times when the school district had to operate on an austerity budget.

    Mr. Negrin said that Jeffrey Conroy and his parents had a good relationship with “lots of humor,” and often went together to sports events at Patchogue-Medford High School, where Jeffrey wrestled and played lacrosse and football. He said that Jeffrey had taken a year off from lacrosse to improve his grades, but that he did not have any discipline problems.

    Prosecutors said that a complaint of harassment was filed against Jeffrey Conroy in May, and that he was due in court on that matter in January. Details were not immediately available.

    Several young people who initially expressed support for the defendants said in recent days that they were not friends with Mr. Conroy. One, who did not want his name used because he had talked to the police, called Mr. Conroy a vulgar name and said he was the one “who pulled out a knife and got everyone else in trouble; I don’t even know who he is.”

    Citing confidentiality rules, school officials declined to comment on Jeffrey Conroy’s school record and reputation. Robert Conroy, at his home on Friday, also declined to comment, as did most relatives and supporters in court on Monday.

    During the arraignment, Jeffrey Conroy, tall and muscular with a chiseled face and buzz cut, did not speak. He stood in prison clothes with his hands cuffed behind his back, occasionally lmoving his head sideways as if stretching his neck muscles. After the judge ruled against bail, one of his sisters burst into tears.

    Mr. Lucero’s brother, Jose, said after the hearing that he felt “pain and sadness” for the defendants. “My brother is in heaven, in peace,” he said. “But for them, this is just the beginning of a different and hard life.”

    Alain Delaquérière and Angela Macropoulos contributed reporting.
     
  2. Principessa

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    Weeklong Hate Spree Preceded Ecuadorian's Murder
    Before the stabbing attack that would claim their final victim, 37-year-old Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero, the Long Island gang known as "The Caucasian Crew" had been out on "beaner jumping" missions for almost a week leading up to it. The Patchogue attacks included knocking one man unconscious after sucker punching him in the mouth and shooting another with a BB gun. Police believe that there are more victims as well who have not come forward out of fears for their safety. Earlier this week, charges against the Caucasian Crew ringleader, Jeffrey Conroy, who is accused of stabbing Lucero were upped from manslaughter to murder.

    Those familiar with tensions in Patchogue say that the attacks and the murder go beyond being just racial attacks. The Post describes it as "a volatile mix of anti-immigration fervor, economic unease and an overwhelming flood of newcomers." While Patchogue is a diverse town, many of the children of immigrants do not fully integrate because they are taught in separate English-as-a-second-language classes. One teenager tells the paper, "These guys, these Mexicans, everyone has a hatred for them. Downtown Patchogue used to be nice, and now they make it all dirtbaggish."

    But while Ecuadorians in Lucero's hometown of Gualaceo greeted the return of his body in a casket this week holding up signs such as "No to Yankee Racism," some say that we shouldn't lose sight of the just how young the attackers were. Stephen Steinlight, a senior policy analyst with the Center for Immigration Studies said, "It seems to me they were just 'wilding' - like a scene straight out of 'A Clockwork Orange.'"

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    The killer is just that, a killer he is not a child. It was not an accident. He is 17 and old enough to know right from wrong. He was a member of a group called the "Caucasian Crew." :wtf2: If I had been in a group in high school called the Black Bangers no one would have thought it was cute or a teen fellowship group. :irked: I say fry his dumb, racist ass. :angryfire2:
     
  3. D_clearbeer

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    wow man thats some fucked up shit
     
  4. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    I agree, if we currently sentence 13 and 14 year olds to life in prison and hold them accountable for their actions, we should do the same to 17 year olds. I mean he just seems that much more culpable.
     
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